History of the Brittingham Society

Brittingham HistoryTom Brittingham, who was Vanderbilt's first Director of the Residency Program, taught us the human side of medicine through the compassion and respect that he had for each of his patients. Following in Dr. Brittingham's footsteps, John Leonard carried forward the traditions of the "good doctor," as the director of the Internal Medicine residency training program from 1983–2004. John Sergent directed the residency program through 2013 and continues to anchor the program's values in patient care. Currently, John McPherson directs the residency program.

In the 1990s, several of Dr. Brittingham's former trainees created the Vanderbilt Society of Internal Medicine to help each other keep those values alive and to connect former housestaff. The society was later renamed the Brittingham Society and expanded to include those who trained as fellows in the Department of Medicine.

(Source: Roger DePrez's comments from memorial service for Dr. Brittingham at VU Housestaff reunion, September 1987 – with thanks to Charles Mayes)


The Brittingham Society has had four director of residency physicians since its inception. Click on the pictures below to read the biography of each.

Dr. Thomas Brittingham, M.D.
Director of Residency Physicians:

Dr. John Leonard, M.D.
Director of the Residency Program:

Dr. John Sergent
Dr. John Sergent, M.D.
Residency Program Director:

Dr. John McPherson
Dr. John McPherson, M.D.
Residency Program Director: